My family history events for January 18th include:
1950: Death of Lily Evelyn Crackett (née Lily Evelyn Allison) at Barrington in Northumberland. Actual date of death is a little uncertain as this was a curious case of manslaughter. Lily was killed by her husband David Robert Sinclair Crackett. If you would like to know more about this tragic tale then you can read about the “Murder at Barrington“. She was last seen alive in November 1949, but her death certificate states body found 18th January 1950. The court returned a verdict of manslaughter, not murder.
1789: 227 years ago today was the baptism of my 4th great uncle, Ralph Bainbridge, at Longbenton in Northumberland. Ralph was the son of William Bainbridge and Mary Coxon.
My family history event for January 7th is the death of my great aunt Ann Roden Turner in 1903. Annie was burnt to death. She was standing close to the fire and her clothes caught hold when someone in the family opened a door. My big mystery with Annie is that I cannot figure out why her middle name is Roden. All other members of this family of 10 who have a middle name have Robinson. Could Roden perhaps be a name from her maternal side which I have not yet tracked or could it be a clue to the unidentified paternal biological grandfather? Annie is buried in the Turner family plot in Amble East Cemetery.
When we cleared out my mother’s house back in 1999 we found an object in her cupboard which we were unsure about. Since neither of us lives in England, this was packed away in a box in my brother’s house and didn’t see the light of day for a while. When we dug it out again our curiosity was piqued and we decided to investigate what it was. It turned out be a “widow’s penny” given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in World War One. This discovery set us off on the next quest. Who was this David Henderson and why did we have this wonderful memento? He was clearly a relative of my maternal grandmother, born Margaret Jane Henderson, but his name had never been mentioned before.
Further investigation showed him to be my granny’s cousin, David Taggart Henderson, son of her uncle John Henderson, born (1860-1898). Cousin David was only about 5 years older than my granny Meggy, so I assume there were quite close when they were growing up. John Henderson and his wife Mary lost another child in infancy, then Mary went on to marry John Baston and have a second family.
David T. Henderson can be found on the Amble War Memorial. He was an Able Seaman in the RNVR Hood Divsion and you can read more about him at this record on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There is also a slightly damaged headstone cross memorial to him, his parents and his baby brother in Amble East Cemetery. I will add that to the blog another time.
For several years I hunted for a headstone for my 3rd great grandparents, John Henderson (1811-1894) and Harriet Miller Newton (1814-1893).
I acquired their death certificates and knew that John drowned at Lesbury in 1874 and Harriet died in Amble in 1893. They could not be buried with other Henderson relatives in Amble West Cemetery as that opened in 1905, but I still kept my eyes open to see if they might have been mentioned on a subsequent memorial there. The death dates made it possible for Harriet to be in Amble East Cemetery, but that opened a little too late for John. However, I still had a wander round the cemetery and checked an online list of burials. No luck there either. My next thought was Warkworth St. Lawrence’s Church. There were Hendersons there too, but not this couple.
Then finally the penny dropped. There was another cemetery in Warkworth too, on the road up to the beach. There they were, together with two of their boys: Henry Henderson (1846-1871) and Archibald Henderson (1836-1874) – so easy to find once I finally got myself into the right place. It must have been tough on Harriet as she lost her son Archibald only 4 months after losing her husband.
Wills and probate records are a valuable resource that I have not paid enough attention to. so far. Browsing through Cracket / Crackett probate records today I came across a William Crackett, Royal Naval Seaman, who died in 1806. Another interesting little conundrum.
Which William was this? Is he one of mine? Where did he travel to? Did he leave any little Cracketts in distant lands? I may have to invest in a copy of the will to see if it will give me any more clues.
George Cracket, retired coal miner hewer, died age 78 on 20 June 1911 at Barrington, Bedlington in Northumberland. I belive this George Cracket to be my great grand-uncle born in 1833 in Cornhill-on Tweed to my great great grandparents William Cracket and Elisabeth Tait. Informant for the death was his son John Cracket.
For those of you who got the “draft” title in your reader – Oops, sorry. One of these days I will learn to always check the title before I publish. Sometimes I start to scribble a few weeks in advance then forget to check the heading before I line the post up for publication.